As soccer has soared in popularity in recent decades, concussion rates for youth players have also surged, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined data on high school soccer players from 2005 to 2014 and found concussions increased in both male and female players. That included about 1.8 million soccer injuries among girls and 1.5 million among boys. Girls were 27 percent more likely to sustain soccer injuries than boys, the study found. Injuries were 42 percent more common in competitions than during practice. “The majority of injuries during competitions occurred during the second half indicating a potential accumulated effect of fatigue,” the authors reported. About 43 percent of injuries overall happened when athletes collided with another player.
The most common diagnoses were ligament sprains, accounting for about 30 percent of injuries. Concussions accounted for about 18 percent of injuries, followed by muscle strains at 16 percent. Concussions accounted for about 17 percent of injuries among boys and 19 percent of injuries among girls. In about 21 percent of concussion cases, symptoms resolved within one day. But recovery took more than one week in 29 percent of concussions. Most concussions required athletes to miss between one and three weeks of soccer. Athletes were medically disqualified for an entire season in 3.5 percent of concussion cases, the study found.